In October I took three weeks and challenged myself only to eat what I had in my food stores. I’ll admit right up front that due to poor planning I did “fall off the wagon” a couple of times, but for the most part I ate only what I had in my pantry.
How was it? In a word – monotonous. Not bad, but there certainly could have been more variety. My diet for that time consisted in large part of canned vegetables, home made bread, and beef in one form or another.
A big bag of oranges lasted for about two weeks before slowly going bad. The grapes were gone in a week and the apples lasted about two. Fresh vegetables? Forget it. Didn’t make it a week.
Breakfast during these weeks consisted mostly of egg beaters and oatmeal, which is what I usually have for breakfast. A week after the audit I still have a carton of egg whites left over and that will last me another ten days or so.
Lunch usually consisted of left overs from the night before or tuna fish on home made bread.
Dinners, like I mentioned earlier, were made up of a lot of beef in the form of steaks or hamburger.
Some of the things I really liked were Manwiches (on home made bread.)
Bread. The home made bread was good with just about everything. Sandwiches, Manwiches, toast, used as hamburger rolls, whatever, it was nice to know that I had a good supply of ingredients laid in for making bread.
Canned veggies. Having a large supply of the vegetables your family likes to eat stored away is going to be critical to your diet. Stock up if you haven’t done so.
Tuna fish. I love tuna.
Oatmeal. I eat a lot of oatmeal because I like it and I buy it in bulk at Sam’s club. They come in 9 lb containers that I put in the cellar and bring up as necessary. Sprinkle with a little sugar or cinnamon and you have a tasty meal that will stick to your ribs for hours.
Popcorn. I love snacking at night and I find that popcorn is a light, but satisfying treat.
One of the things I really didn’t care for were the pasta-in-a-can type meals. Spaghetti and meatballs and that kind of thing. I have plenty of “real” pasta stored, but wanted to eat up some of the canned stuff. They are high in calories, which would actually be good in a true SHTF situation, but the taste left a lot to be desired. For some reason I seem to remember them tasting a lot better when I was a kid.
What I Missed
Fresh vegetables, which is odd for me because I’ve always considered myself a carnivore. Give me a steak and I’m a happy guy, but after a couple of weeks I would have maimed for a fresh salad. I didn’t exactly get tired of steak, but more variety in meats would have been welcome.
I also missed grapes and other fresh fruits. If TSHTF one of the things we in the northeast will have to live without is the loss of fresh fruit during the winter months. It’s easy to run down to the store and pick up a quart of strawberries and not give a lot of thought to just how far they had to come to get there.
Three weeks isn’t really a big test, although it will give you an idea. The first week or week and a half is eating from that week’s shopping trip. After that food is gone is when you start to get into your food stores.
My food preps are in pretty good order. I might need to get some fixings for something sweet as I find I missed a dessert every now and then.
I’ll probably wind up getting rid of the canned pasta, but I’ll give it some thought before I do. Maybe just get rid of it as the due date approaches and not replenish.
Add more types of meat to the freezer.
One last note about Weight Watchers. I dropped a couple of pounds and then maintained that weight for the last couple of weeks on this diet.
One of the big things to consider is the kind of shtf event to plan for. Obviously, I assumed for this exercise that there would be electricity for the freezer, which won’t necessarily be the case. I can smoke and can some of that meat if I have to, but I probably want to think of other ways to stock up on protein that doesn’t rely on the grid.
How’s your food situation?